Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has landed another victory in his legal battles with Parlux Fragrances. On Thursday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Andrew Borrok found that the global perfume company owed $6.78 million in royalties to the 52-year-old rapper, plus interest. “We’ve been awarded and will be receiving the money as we should,” Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro told the New York Post. But Parlux has already filed an appeal.
Jay-Z and Parlux partnered in 2013 to promote “Gold Jay-Z” cologne. However, the manufacturer sued Jay-Z for $68 million three years later. The company alleged that his refusal to make public appearances with the cologne or attend internal meetings tanked “the emerging brand…all the while collecting a handsome guaranteed minimum royalty as well as Perfumania common stock.”
In return, Jay-Z countersued and took Parlux to court for $4.5 million in royalties. He contended the company failed to provide his team with the numbers, resources, business plans, and due royalties to smartly proceed.
Furthermore, Donald Loftus, the ex-CEO of Parlux, was called in to testify in the case. But Loftus asked to give his statements remotely, citing fear of COVID-19 and health issues. So Jay-Z hired a private investigator, whose findings showed otherwise.
“Despite Mr. Loftus and plaintiffs’ counsel’s misrepresentations otherwise, the pandemic has not proven exceptional for Mr. Loftus, who is living his life as if it is 2019,” Spiro wrote in the filing obtained last year by Rolling Stone. “Covid-19 has not stopped Mr. Loftus from participating in any activities similar to, or more risky than, attending an in-person trial around other socially-distanced, masked individuals.”
After three weeks, Justice Borrok initially found neither side to be at fault. “You failed to prove your case, they failed to prove their case. That’s the outcome,” he told both legal teams in November 2021.
But an appeals court actually ruled in favor of Jay-Z the following February. It found Parlux owed him for royalties going back to 2015, but left the final amount up to Borrok.